- Dear Friends and Residents of this interdependent global
- I cannot give magical answers to everyone's needs at
this time of crisis with the Japanese nuclear disaster. However, I can
give you a few tips on how to listen to the official "expert"
statements given on CNN or NHK or other networks, plus some tips on what
to eat or not eat.
- First, there is a great difference between medical use
of radiation, with direct risk and benefit to a patient and the random
distribution of a comparable dose to a large population. In the latter
case the risk is magnified and the benefit goes to filling some general
society benefit. Hence, the individual harm may be sacrificed for the military
or economic good of a country. How or why we must make this trade off has
never been well understood by the public or well explained and agreed to
by reasonable civil society.
- There is also a significant difference between internal
contamination with radioactive debris from a nuclear disaster and direct
irradiation from an external medical devise under the control of a professional
who can ask for your consent, limit the exposure and take care of any problems
which might unwittingly occur. When internal radioactive tracers are used
in medicine they have short half lives (both biologically and physically)
and are not similar to plutonium, uranium, or thorium, or other debris
found in nuclear disasters.
- Nevertheless, both exposures can be significant, and
require some consent by those at risk. Unfortunately, this prior consent
is absent in a disaster!
- Persons with good general health and good basic nutritional
health will fare better when the food, air, or water is contaminated since
the body normally chooses uncontaminated food when it is available to it.
Avoid eating salads, if you are suspicious of them being contaminated by
fallout or contaminated water; and always wash carefully fruits and vegetables
to remove any surface contamination.
- Do not take Potassium Iodide without medical supervision.
The Iodine-131 has a short half-life, and probably will not travel very
far from the source unless the release from the reactor is explosive. If
there is radioactive Iodine in milk then there probably also is Cobalt-60,
a very dangerous gamma radiation emitter. The inorganic Cobalt is incorporated
into organic Vitamin B-12 in the udder of the cow and becomes much more
dangerous to the liver when ingested in milk. Be careful to get sufficient
rest so that the body can undertake efficient repair of any damage. Keep
hydrated with the best water available to you!
- Although it is true that alpha radiation, the primary
radiation in early fallout, can be stopped by paper, when this same radioactivity
is released inside the body it does about 20 times the cellular damage
as the equivalent dose of X-ray.
- I like to hold the food in my hands and thank it for
its goodness. Then I ask that it protect me from any harmful contaminants
it holds. I think this a sort of modern Prayer Before Meals, and not irrelevant
under the circumstances.
- I wish you well, and especially hold in prayer the survivors
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all the other radiation victims/survivors
of our world, for they are terrified by this massive threat which they
hoped no one would ever have to suffer again!
- Peace! Rosalie Bertell
- "I have singled out the military as the key to quick
'surgical' actions; trying to resolve the social and environmental problems
that are often directly related to their activities. (When I was invited
in 1978 to a Japanese commemoration ceremony for Hiroshima and Nagasaki
survivors) I introduced the Japanese survivors to some American veterans,
and it was touching to see them invite these 'enemies' to come to Japan
as their guests. The Japanese honored their guests and new bonds of friendship,
based on their common suffering and stronger than the hatred of war, were
- Rosalie Bertell. "Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon
of War. A Critical Study into the Military and the Environment." 2000: